What better way than to fill your time during lockdown than picking your 5 aside team from Manchester United’s Premier Leage era?
Myself and other members of the Full Time Devils team have come together to come up with ours. You’ll find number of similarities between the teams but also some that were more outside of the box.
The rules were simple: Premier League era, minimum of one defender, a skipper and a substitute.
What’s yours? Whose team do you think is the best? Think your team can beat ours? Let us know!!
David De Gea
Roy Keane (Captain)
David Beckham (Bench)
To pick a 5 man United team consisting of players from the Premier League era is a tedious task. There is a vast pool of special players that we can choose from and the choices will be subjective to each individual. For my team I would pick the best shot stopper that I’ve watched in net for us and that is David De Gea. He might not be the best in the world at the moment, but has been up there for the past decade. Inorder to protect this team at the back, we need someone will be a one man wall. And that defensive rock comes from Serbia and goes by the name of Nemanja Vidić. The midfield general that this team needs is someone who will marshall the troops and be its spine. A certain Roy Keane is the perfect man for the job and to lead this team. Finally, with the likes of Berba, RVN, Cole, Ole, and Yorke as a few options up front, I have to be biased and go with the pair I’ve seen tear the Premier league apart. That will be the partnership of Ronaldo and Rooney leading the line. Just missing the cut for this team is David Beckham, who will be on the bench with his magical right foot at our disposal. I believe this team has the perfect blend required for a 5 a-side game. The defensive and creative abilities added to the attacking prowess, it’ll be hard for anyone to compete with this bunch.
Edwin van der Sar
Roy Keane (C)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Bench)
For me I feel like Van der Sar is the obvious goalkeeping choice for a 5-A-Side team. He’s tall, imposing, a brilliant shot stopper and very good with his feet meaning he’ll be spraying passes all over the shop. In defence I went with Rio over the likes of Vidic, Pallister and Stam because his composure on the ball and passing ability as well his defending skills would be essential to dominating a 5-A-Side game. In midfield I can think of no better 5-A-Side combination than Rooney and Keane. Challenges would be flying everywhere and neither of them would stop running for the entire game. Their sheer determination would be a huge asset to the team and Rooney would be banging them in for fun from midfield. Keane is the obvious choice to be the captain of this team. Finally, in attack I went with a bit of a left-field choice in Javier Hernandez. Whilst there are plenty of fantastic strikers that have played for United in the Premier League, I feel that Chicharito is the one best suited to 5-A-Side. His innate ability to pop up in dangerous postions and tap home makes him a deadly and frustrating player for any 5-A-Side defender to have to deal with. On the bench I went with Cristiano which might seem a bizarre choice. Despite being one of the greatest to ever play the game, I fear his abilities might be wasted on a 5-A-Side pitch and any opposite centre-half would surely just snap him, but he’d be a great option to have on the bench.
Wayne Rooney (Bench)
After eight attempts and still more tweaking, I have settled on my side. Admittedly, I am still questioning myself as I write this but here goes…
This was a tough call. I rate David De Gea as one of the best keepers in the game today and I always felt so assured when Van Der Sar played. His composure transmitted to the team and allowed them to play with freedom. However, the nod goes to Schmeichel for his huge presence, his command of the 18-yard box and his quick distribution of the ball.
Do you go for style and pick Rio? Or someone who would put their head anywhere like Vidic or Bruce? Why choose between the two though when you can have both in Jaap Stam? Such a shame he didn’t play with us for longer but what a class act.
Ronaldo. No question.
World class player who produced on the biggest stage. He rotated between being a midfielder and a striker and, once he wasn’t tied down to any one position, we got the best out of him.
Keane is my second midfielder and captain. Someone who was box to box, controlled a game, demanded the best from everyone and is a born leader. No team would be complete without this man.
Eric Cantona. Enough said.
I initially had 20 people for this one position. Players like Scholes went from starting in my team to totally missing out, which I still can’t fathom – and I’m the one deciding here!
Giggs, Beckham, Ruud, Hughes, Kanchelskis, Yorke, Cole – the list goes on and on. Ultimately, however, the spot goes to Rooney. His record was unbelievable and he always gave 100%.
So the final team is one which I believe no one would like to face. As captain, Keane would be surrounded by like-minded individuals who all have the perfect combination of skill and steel.
Roy Keane (Captain)
Park Ji-sung (Bench)
As we all know 5 aside is different to a full game so I went for a balance of on the ball quality, power and energy. Goalkeeper was difficult between Schmeichel and De Gea because the Spaniard’s agility would be perfect for these small games but I couldn’t overlook our best ever goalkeeper. Rio was the easiest one for me. His ability to read a game and he is the best ball playing defender we have had. The midfield of Pogba and Keane has power, aggression, drive and most of all top drawer technical footballers. Keane is the obvious skipper and he is probably the most underrated player with the ball too. Pogba has it all; strength, athleticism and technical skill in an abundance. He probably has done as consistently enough in an United shirt as much as he should but his qualities are unquestionable. Then up top the ultimate street footballer and United all time leading goalscorer, Rooney, in his prime is made for 5aside. His energy and determination on the pitch along with his finishing ability leaves me with no doubt he should lead my line. My go to guy on the bench is the reliable and workhorse Park Ji-sung. He has unbelievable fitness, he also know how to break up play and has a great understanding of the game plus he always turns up in big games. Picking this team was difficult but fun thing to do and I am sure if you were to ask me another ten times it would be different team each time.
David de Gea
Paul Pogba (Captain)
Marcus Rashford (Bench)
Five-a-side football is all about close coordination coupled with skill and flair. I have tried to break from a typical lineup and assembled players from the current squad with those attributes.
De Gea in goal is a bold one when it comes to distribution but he’s one of the finest shot stoppers I’ve ever seen.His saves with the feet earn him brownie points.There’s something of the park footballer about Wan-Bissaka. There’s no cleanliness or polished aesthetic about his game but a tackle made always ends up in ball retrieval. So he’s a one man defence in himself for me.
I fully expect Bruno’s heat map to be the entire length of the pitch with opportunistic forward passes and tracking back in first gear when required. 5 star skill moves and cheeky tricks do come as the side dish. Pogba’s individual skill and playmaking ability make him undroppable in confined space.He can pick any pass, tackle dribble and shoot. What makes him my Captain is the constant chatter with his mates and his undoubted leadership qualities as demonstrated in the World Cup winning French side. Besides, my pick might just get Souness to read this piece.
Up front I need a skilful and clinical two footed finisher – Greenwood. I trust him to find the back of the net in the tight angles and windows afforded in a five-a-side. He just edges out Rashford due to his finishing.
Edwin Van Der Sar
Roy Keane (Captain)
Ruud van Nistelrooy (Bench)
Picking a United 5 a side team is never easy and my choices are usually about as consistent as Paul Pogba. If I catch a game from the 90s on telly one day I’ll be convinced Eric simply has to be in the team, a quick watch of one from the noughties and it’s Ruud. Depending on what day you ask me, you’re always likely to get a different team but today this is the one I’ve gone for and here’s why.
Van Der Sar had everything you’d want from goalkeeper and is often underrated slightly because his positional sense was so, so good. Like a shot-stopping Michael Carrick, VDS saw danger early and was invariably in the right place at the right time, hence his ridiculously impressive clean sheet record.
Stam is simply the best defender I’ve ever seen. Anywhere. End of. Three titles in three seasons says it all. The fact this is the Premier League era team has saved me a headache as by that time Bryan Robson was in decline as if this was all-time, he’d walk into it. But it isn’t so he doesn’t. The second-best midfielder I’ve ever seen does – Keano. He’s also captain because he lifted everyone around him – including the fans.
Rooney was a tricky one as he could be inconsistent at times, but overall was immense and fits in nicely between midfielder and attacker – he’s the perfect five a side player.
The final piece in the jigsaw is the Premier League’s greatest ever player – Ronaldo. Ruud makes the bench as he’s quite simply the best out and out striker of my lifetime.
David De Gea
Wayne Rooney (Captain)
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Paul Scholes (Bench)
I went for De Gea because he is probably the best keeper technically out of the keepers that we have had, as well as being unbelievable at saving with his feet which will obviously be need in 5-aside. A leader from the back.
Rio is easily one of the best defenders in the club’s history. He was ahead of his time with the ball at his feet as a centre half too, so therefore would be ideal on the ball in a 5-aside situation.
I picked Rooney as he always worked his socks off. He was brilliant off the ball and would do anything defensively for the team as he was a battler. Going forward his record-breaking scoring speaks for itself. For me Rooney is one of the most underrated players in recent times.
Ronaldo had to be in there. My favourite player to ever play for the club. He can beat any defender with his unbelievable skill, which obviously is vital in a 5-aside set up. Again, he scores goals galore, and is a leader. If anyone doesn’t have him in their team, they are crazy.
Finally, for me Ruud is the best finisher the club have had in the Premier League era. He would play the furthest forward and would bag us goals, whilst again working hard for the club. An absolutely world class striker in his day.
Then the guy I will call upon from the bench is Paul Scholes. I absolutely love Scholes and it was such a difficult decision to leave him out of my starting five but I couldn’t leave out Rooney or Ronaldo. Not bad person to have on your bench though.
David De Gea
Jaap Stam (Captain)
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Michael Carrick (Bench)
David De Gea is the goalkeeper for this 5 aside premier league side because of his shot stopping ability. His acrobatic saves are sensational and have kept United in multiple games. Jaap Stam was a warrior on the football pitch and even Sir Alex himself said that among his biggest regrets was selling Stam. Paul Scholes was the greatest English midfielder of the last 25 years and there is no debate about that. Somebody who won everything in the game and a man who can create for the two forwards in the team. I also couldn’t leave out Cristiano Ronaldo. A Ballon D’or winner at Manchester United and a man that helped us win our third Champions league Trophy. Arguably the greatest player to grace the game of football walks into this side. The forward is a born goal scorer. 150 goals for Manchester United in 219 games. Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
My substitute was one of United’s most underrated ever players; Michael Carrick. A midfielder that could find a pass nobody else would see. An Old Trafford legend who won everything in Manchester and a bargain at £18 million. Now a coach at United who is passing on his experience to the younger generation of players.
After all that I am not sure we have come up with a definitive team and that is what made it even more fun to do. One thing is for sure, we have certainly been blessed with some incredible players and lets hope Ole and the team are setting us up to be seeing more in the future.